11 June 2004

the olympic flame came and went and like all others caused a lot of controversy.what was the point in inviting STAR networks CEO ? what the hell has he done ? why were film stars invited ? read this hard hitting column by harsha bhogle that appeared in indian express today :

Harsha Bhogle: Olympic medals? We don't even want to win with the torch
Friday June 11 2004 00:00 IST

I can't wait for the Commonwealth Games of 2010 to begin. I don't know if Bipasha Basu, Rani Mukherjee or Aishwarya Rai will be the flavour of the season then but I am sure their successors will proudly lead the Indian team, maybe even step forward and receive medals on behalf of the winners.

Modern-day Aamir Khans and Vivek Oberois will be the flag-bearers and will take the oath on behalf of the athletes.

The new PT Usha will win the 400 metres and be whisked away through the tunnels and straight to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium _ which, in utter disrespect to the leader it is named after, will continue to leak from various corners and from under various doors.

And there will be a bucket waiting for her so she can carry water back to her room.

The Olympics once stood for bravery and valour and the spirit of competition among athletes. The Olympic torch was a symbol of this proud movement; to carry it was to represent the Olympic ideals, to protect them and to respect them.

The amateur spirit has long gone out of the Games, financial realities meant sponsorship was vital and the Games need to respect the hand that gives them sustenance. But while sponsors must get their due, the Games must remain a celebration of sport, a triumph of courage and must acknowledge sportsmen that symbolise citius, altius and fortius.

The hands that bore the Olympic torch on Thursday belonged to people who were accomplished but whose faces sold dreams. The strength of their arms and the fleetness of their foot mattered little. This is not to belittle their achievements but they were in the wrong place; just as a weightlifter might be on Karan Johar's sets or an athlete might in a staged romance. We got it wrong, dreadfully wrong. We blew our chance to celebrate sport.

Meanwhile, in Australia, Cathy Freeman ran the first leg with the Olympic torch; an aboriginal athlete who made a nation forget its cultural differences by running the most stirring 400-metre race at the Sydney Olympics. That is what sport is meant to do, that is the message we could have passed to a generation increasingly weaned on chocolate romances and artificial WWE fights.

We blew it. We blew it big time. We took away one of the few moments sportsmen can call their own. We cheated them.

True, Anjali Bhagwat and Karnam Malleswari were there. But couldn't we have checked if Norman Pritchard has a survivor? Doesn't Khashba Jadhav? Wasn't this the moment to applaud Milkha Singh and Gurbachan Singh Randhawa? Sriram Singh and PT Usha? And all those hockey Olympians who won medals for us?

Couldn't we have announced to India when Ashok Kumar took the torch that this was the legacy of the great Dhyan Chand, the memory of that 1936 team that did more than just win an Olympic medal? And how many did we have there from the last Indian team to win gold? Shouldn't we have relived the 1980 Olympics with Vasudevan Bhaskaran?

We don't have a great sporting history and we don't have too many world-beaters. And so we must celebrate what we have, remember those that went beyond the ordinary, whose hearts still beat with the intensity of competition and the desire to achieve. Unless we remind ourselves of their story, how can another Olympian emerge?

As with musicians, actors, artists, scientists and politicians, so too with sportspersons. One generation stands on the shoulders of the previous one, takes the baton from the past and hands it to the future. If we take away our past, we have no future, if we don't celebrate sport today we won't learn how to do it tomorrow.

What a pity that in our obsession with glamour we forgot some of our own sportsmen. So can we get Mallika Sherawat to recite Tagore? Ishaa Koppikar to remind us of our Param Vir Chakra awardees? Bipasha Basu to stand up for CV Raman? Shahid Kapoor to administer the oath of office to Manmohan Singh? Why not?

In the end of course it comes down to the question that real achievers understand. How badly do you want to do well? We didn't want to with the Olympic torch. What a pity.

its sad that in the name of sponsorship we stoop really low.The day we have the balls to say no to ppl is the day we shall progress.
Strangley enough the situation remains the same in many places.When will this unfortunate state of affairs change ? hope it does change someday!

then my company is featured in an MSNBC article:

The next time a New Yorker dials 911 on a cell phone and his location pops up on the emergency operator's screen, the caller should thank an unassuming software engineer thousands of miles away in Ban-galore, India. The man is 46-year-old Rajiv Mody, founder and chairman of Sasken Ltd., one of the world's leading providers of wireless-communications software. When Japan's NEC looked for a way to provide two-way wireless video-conferencing, it turned to Sasken, and so have companies like Ericsson, Intel and Sharp as they sought to upgrade their products' multimedia capabilities.

This icon of Indian technology was founded, oddly enough, in a Silicon Valley garage, on about $40,000 of Mody's savings. Two years later, in 1991, Mody—who was born in Gujarat state and educated at Brooklyn Polytechnic—moved his fledging company to Bangalore, a daring step at a time when Indian bureaucracy and currency regulations laid down a formidable barrier to international business. But it gave him an edge in hiring the best graduates of India's technical universities, and helped infuse Sasken with an austere corporate culture. Everyone works in identical cubicles and flies coach class—modesty inspired by Mody's two great heroes, Mahatma Gandhi and Warren Buffett. Austere but, at the same time, ferocious: "Everybody in this country has fire in his or her belly," Mody says. "We have a great future before us."

oh well this blog has too many borrowed articles so shall close for now and be back with more!

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 8:52 AM


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